So, you've just got the news that you're going to be bringing a baby into the world in 9 months. All the emotions, all the planning, all the dreams for the future of your family.
But how do you make sure you're offering the support your partner needs through this time? Changing body and hormones. Morning sickness and swollen feet. Everything from the first trimester to finding clothes to fit her growing bump, she needs your support now more than ever.
We've collected advice from dad's who have been there and learned that. Here are some of their best tips:
“Don’t buy Castrol oil, she doesn’t mean motor oil.”
"I feel like this answer comes off as insincere but I guess I don’t see a difference between those and a girlfriend/wife. We should support the mother-to-be like you hopefully always have. Yes their wants and needs may change throughout the pregnancy (everyone’s pregnancy and each pregnancy is different) but that shouldn’t change how we support them. Communication is key. We, as men, know nothing about that journey and what it’s like so we need to communicate about what those wants/needs are at that particular time, when they change, and what’s needed from us. Beyond that, I’ve told all my friends that have had kids after me not to listen to anyone that tells you “this is what you should do.” Just as each pregnancy is different, each child is different and will need you to do things differently, even if just slightly. But again, that all falls back on communicating with your significant other on what you are experiencing and writing your own parenting how-to as you go. No one, no book, and no group on Facebook has all the answers. You have to talk about it and decide what you want to do as a couple."
"When she wants jelly beans, buy the jelly beans."
Maybe it’s cliché but its never more important to humble yourself and admit to yourself that you have no idea how to support your partner so this is the time to ask what you can do. Realize that you think you’re bending over backwards to support them in every way you can think of bu there is some pressing need they have you couldn’t possibly imagine. Remember this is their first time going through it as well and they may ask for one thing, and change their mind two minutes later, and ask for support in a different way. They’re figuring it out as they go. Everyone is just trying to do their best.
When you’ve got the little one in your arms put away your damn phone, the final four doesn’t matter, your pending work trip doesn’t matter, the bill you forgot to pay doesn’t matter. This is the time to try and memorize every square inch of the littler person you’re not going to love in ways you didn’t even know possible.
With all the prego books out there, I feel like it was more important to support her individualized pregnancy rather than following a what to expect at this stage type of book. Each time their body probably won’t react the same, their cravings will change, the way the baby sits might change, their goals through pregnancy should be able to change with each situation as well, they can and definitely will benefit from reading all those books but in the end, trust themselves and their bodies. I would also say, post partum is far more common than people talk about or expect and if it occurs it’s ok, what’s not ok is thinking it’ll just go away on its own.